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Paper Monitor

10:53 UK time, Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's "expand your vocab" day in the Times. Sarah Palin, according to commentator Chris Ayres, is a "gun-packing, moose-wrangling, salmon-trawling milf from Alaska".

You'll have to look that one up - Paper Monitor is contractually bound from explaining what it means. Meanwhile there's lots of colourful background on the Palins, including the names of the children - Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig.

Elsewhere, more new vocab but this time more highminded. Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill casually throws in the word "archiespiscopate". Nice work - though her phrase "tensions over sexuality that are threatening to rend the Anglican Communion in two" would surely sound a touch more Biblical if she had said "in twain". *

The Daily Telegraph meanwhile has gone full colour today. Paper Monitor is old enough to remember a plantive cry of a traditionalist Telegraph reader who, when colour was introduced to the front page some years ago, said that seeing the paper over the breakfast table was like encountering one's teenage daughter coming down the stairs plastered with garish make-up.

Can't imagine anyone complaining in those terms nowadays. And in a rather depressing article explaining the introduction of colour (an article a la Sarah Sands) it is claimed that "readers will be able to enjoy even better pictures and exciting new graphics throughout the paper". Woo-hoo! It adds: "In Business, we have responded to your demands for even more graphics detailing key financial and economic data." You spoil us! Those demonstrations of placard-wielding Telegraph readers chanting "What do we want?" "Even more graphics detailing key financial and economic data!" "When do we want them?" "Every day including a comprehensive round-up at the weekend!" must have passed Paper Monitor by.

Still, the paper does look attractive, so good luck to them. And it's interesting to note that, just as the Times did before it, the Telegraph has chosen the familiar Magazine teal to denote its news pages.

* "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;", Matthew 27 v51.

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